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"I'm pretty good at it, and I think if things go well, I could probably win three or four games."

Amy Schneider made that prediction shortly after winning her first game of Jeopardy!. She's since gone on to win forty.


Now the second highest winner of all time, Schneider's streak has finally come to an end. Just days after earning that title, she lost to Rhone Talsma, a Chicago librarian.

It happened when the contestants reached the infamous Daily Double. Schneider was in the lead with $7,200, as Talsma trailed behind her at $3,400. Schneider recounts the moments as they happened---

"Rhone and I were both looking for that last Daily Double. And he, quite rightly, obviously made the decision to bet it all... Once he did that, I knew it was going to come down to 'Final Jeopardy!' I knew that I had been struggling a little bit with 'Final Jeopardy!' recently, and so I knew I was in trouble."

Once Talsma bet it all and won, the odds evened out. Talsma sat at $17,600, with Schneider ahead at $27,600. Ken Jennings, current host and highest winner of all time at seventy-four victories, commented on the tension going into the Final Jeopardy.

"For the first time in what seems like quite a while, 'Final Jeopardy!' is going to be very important today. So a lot hinges on this category: Countries of the World. The clue: 'The only nation in the world whose name in English ends in an H, it's also one of the 10 most populous.'"

Talsma correctly answered "Bangladesh", and added $12,000 to his winnings, earning a total of $29,600. Schneider was unfortunately stumped, losing $8,000, which brought her down to $19,600, and her streak to an end.

Schneider claims that she was initially saddened by her loss, but was quickly able to shake it off thinking of the prospect of finally going home. She comments on her time on the show,

"This has been a show that has been part of my life as long as I can remember, that I've loved my whole life. To know that I'm always going to be associated with it, always going to be part of 'Jeopardy!' history is just a really cool feeling."

Talsma, who dethroned the queen, was just as surprised as anyone else. He states,

“This is my favorite show. I was so excited to be here, and I just wanted to do my best. I did not expect to be facing a 40-day champion, and I was excited to maybe see someone else slay the giant. I just really didn’t think it was going to be me, so I’m thrilled.”

Schneider leaves the show a champion, and will play in the next Tournament of Champions alongside previous second place holder, Matt Amodio, who left with a total of thirty-eight wins. Schneider will also be added to the show's Hall of Fame, and currently holds the title of highest winning woman.

Schneider is transgender, which online bigots have used to discredit her achievements. Nick Adams, GLAAD's director of transgender representation, says a glimpse into the life of a "smart, charming transgender woman" has given society a "bright spot" of representation. He says,

"Amy's achievement will be celebrated for years to come by 'Jeopardy!' fans and LGBTQ people everywhere."

And they surely will. Read Schneider's full departing statement here.

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